Remains of US soldier lost in Korean War come home

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm •  Published: December 20, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sixty-three years after Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went missing in action during the Korean War, his remains were returned to his 94-year-old widow in a solemn ceremony at Los Angeles International Airport before dawn Friday.

Clara Gantt wept as she stood in the cold before the flag-draped casket that was carried from a jetliner by military honor guard.

"He told me if anything happened to him he wanted me to remarry. I told him no, no. Here I am, still his wife," she told reporters.

Joseph Gantt was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950, while serving with Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, according to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Washington, D.C.

According to the office, elements of the 2nd Infantry Division were attacked by greater numbers of Chinese forces near the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea. The division disengaged and withdrew, fighting its way through a series of Chinese roadblocks. Numerous U.S. soldiers were reported missing that day in the vicinity of Somindong, North Korea.

After a 1953 exchange of prisoners of war, returning U.S. soldiers reported that Gantt had been injured in battle, captured by Chinese forces and died in a POW camp in early 1951 from malnutrition and lack of medical care. His remains were only recently identified. Information on when they were found was not immediately available from the missing personnel office.

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